Old House North

Lundy, Bristol Channel, Devon

Overview

Old House, North and South, is the most handsome building on the island, in perhaps the best position, and made of the best-looking granite. Lundy’s beauty, community and way of life make a world apart and despite its size, a stay here never feels quite long enough.

  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • BathBath

Beds 1 Twin

Sleeps
2
3 nights
£409 equivalent to £68.17 per person, per night

Built for Sir John Borlase Warren, MP

Old House, North and South, is the most handsome building on the island, in perhaps the best position, and made of the best-looking granite. It began life in about 1775, built for Sir John Borlase Warren, a young MP who owned Lundy briefly. Until replaced by Millcombe, it was indeed the island’s chief residence. William Heaven gave it its present form, to which it has now returned after the removal, by us, of haphazard additions on three sides. We also made a garden in the courtyard behind and divided the house, invisibly, in two.

‘We loved the cosy cottage and the feeling of peace and tranquillity. It feels like we’ve stepped back into a simple life of years gone past.’

From the logbook

Floor Plans

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Map & local info

Located in the heart of the village, overlooking Millcombe valley and with views out to sea, The Old House is convenient for the tavern and shop.

Read all about Lundy

Clear directions

Places to visit nearby

Rocky shore rambles

Lundy wildlife talks by warden

Snorkeling safaris

Warden led walks

Seabird walks

Climbing

FAQs

    Booking and Payment

  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking. 
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925.
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking online.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    Please report to reception when you arrive on the island, where further information will be given.
  • What if I arrive late?

    If you miss the scheduled sailing or helicopter to Lundy, you’ll have to make your own travel arrangements using local operators.
  • What happens if bad weather prevents the ship from sailing or the helicopter from flying?

    If we cannot transport you to Lundy either by boat or helicopter at the beginning of your stay, and you have bought from us either a boat or helicopter ticket we will refund the rent you have paid for each night until you reach the island. If we cannot transport you from Lundy at the end of your stay and you have bought from us a boat or helicopter ticket we will cover the cost of each extra night’s accommodation on Lundy. If we offer you a sailing or helicopter flight to or from Lundy but you refuse it, we reserve the right to change your accommodation and/or to charge for it.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying on Lundy

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.  Further information on access when visiting Lundy can be found here: https://www.countrysidemobility.org/lundy.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We occasionally offer bed and breakfast subject to property availability, with breakfast being served in the Marisco Tavern.
  • Do you provide catering?

    We do not provide catering, however, the Marisco Tavern is normally open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Please check the notice board on arrival for opening times.
  • Do you allow dogs?

    Dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Lundy is a working farm with large numbers of ewes and lambs at certain times of the year. For this reason we cannot allow you to bring dogs or pets (except assistance dogs) when travelling to, or staying on, the island.
  • What time can I arrive and what time do I have to depart from the Landmark?

    Your arrival and departure time on the island will be governed by the arrival and departure time of MS Oldenburg or the helicopter.  Your property will be ready by 4pm, however, this can often be earlier.  You must vacate your property by 10am.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings.  However, it’s possible to get married or have a wedding blessing on Lundy subject to obtaining the relevant license and/or consent. Please contact the shore office [email protected] for further information.   
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s).  

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There is standard range of crockery, cutlery, pots, pans and utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide fuel for the open fire/stove?

    Fuel for the open fires/stoves can be bought from the General Store.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies on the island.  There is a payphone in the Marisco Tavern.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there toilet rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea, milk and sugar awaits your arrival.  We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers. Here are other things you might consider.
History & Restoration

Now returned to something of its original form

The buildings known as Old House North and Old House South (formerly known as the Farmhouse) have been through a number of metamorphoses but have now returned to something like their original form. The first, and most interesting, house may be seen in the drawing by Mary Ann Heaven dated August 1838. Here the building appears with twin-towers joined by a single storey with two windows and a door.

It seems almost certain this is the one referred to in 1787 (in a description printed in the North Devon Magazine of 1824) as 'the house lately built by Sir John Borlase Warren', the young M.P. for Marlow and future Admiral who owned Lundy from 1775-1781. The new house replaced the Castle as the focus of island life. Here the various owners of the late Georgian period stayed when they visited the island, as Sir Vere Hunt did in the winter of 1810-11, a visit partly recorded in a journal. In their absence it was where the island agent or steward lived, putting up occasional visitors.

Hunt mentions a front and back parlour (in which his more valued things were stored when he left), a kitchen in which he drank his punch in the evening and a hall in which there was dancing on his last night. Apart from his own bedroom, there was a 'dark room' in which he slept when a ferocious easterly was blowing straight up the Millcombe Valley, making his room on that side unusable. He had already had the cracks of the front door stopped with green baize, an extra carpet put down in the parlour, and all the shutters closed.

An inventory was made of the furniture in the Farmhouse in 1822. The Parlour was furnished with a dining table and chairs, a side table, bookcase, two small tables and a number of glasses, decanters, candlesticks and other things for the table. The Small Parlour, apart from one small table had only china and cutlery and a quantity of lumber ('1 oald clock useless, 1 oald tea urn, 4 tooth bruch stands ...'). Over the parlours were two bedrooms ('1 broalken feather bed, 1 mattress bad, washing stand broalken...'). The house also contained a kitchen, furnished with a dresser, a large and a small kitchen table and 2 'green chairs'; a store-room over it containing a bed and more junk; a dairy; and the steward, Mr Mannix's own room in which he both worked ('1 writing desk') and slept ('Feather bed very bad'). There he also kept that essential piece of Lundy equipment, a spyglass or telescope. The total value of all the furniture and chattels and farm implements was £60 2s 5d.

How the house was actually arranged is not clear from this inventory. Mrs M.C.H. Heaven wrote in her ‘Lundy Log’ that the towers contained four rooms and the central section was a dairy. However, as she never saw it herself this is not conclusive. Clearly one of the towers did have four rooms. You would expect the kitchen to have been in the middle bit, with a storeroom under the roof and the dairy next to it (it seems to have been in a semi-basement), but it may have been in the other tower with the agent's room. Other rooms might have been empty. There is no mention of the hall in which Hunt describes his Irish employees dancing, while he fell asleep in the kitchen.

Soon after Miss Heaven's drawing was made in 1838, Mr Heaven altered the house by taking off the hipped tower roofs, adding a second storey in the middle and then putting a shallow pitched roof over the whole house. He of course stayed in Millcombe, so this now became the Farmhouse. It seems to have had two families living in it, at least in the 1850s and 1860s.

In 1849 Charles Kingsley came to Lundy. Afterwards he wrote that he 'dined at the Farmhouse, dinner costing me 1s 9d and then rambled over the island ... Oh that I had been a painter for that day at least!' It must have been on this occasion that he gathered material for his description of the island in Westward Ho! According to the Bideford Gazette Mr John Lee, the ‘Governor’ in 1854, 'provides visitors with board, lodgings, beer, port and spirits at reasonable prices; conducts them over the island, shows the ruins of Marisco’s Castle, the remains of St. Helena's Chapel, Johnny Groat's House, Devil’s Lime-Kiln, and Lighthouse, and the liberty of hunting, fishing and fowling'.

When the Lundy Granite Company was set up in 1863, it took the lease of most of the island, including the farm. At the north end of the Farmhouse they built a Store (which possibly doubled as an ale-house, now the outer bar of the Tavern) and a Storekeeper's cottage (now the main room of the Tavern). At the other end was a bakehouse with lodging for the baker above (the present office). They also built a large new house running back at right angles from the south end of the Farmhouse. This was still unfinished inside when the company folded. It reverted to the Heavens in 1871, and one of the empty rooms was often used for Sunday services. The Store had proved such a benefit for the islanders that it was kept open. The farm was kept in hand for a few years after this and prospered, with a new dairy added at the back of the Farmhouse.

The Farmhouse is divided

During 1982 and 1983, Ernest Ireland Construction Ltd of Bath undertook the work under the supervision of the architect Philip Jebb. For this and the other works in progress at the same time, up to 30 men were employed on the island. They worked in four-week shifts, then had a week on the mainland, travelling by helicopter to Hartland Point then by bus to Bath. The Farmhouse was divided invisibly to provide Old House North and South. At its northern end, the hotel billiard room and the rooms over it were pulled down, and the Marisco Cottage beyond (originally the Storekeeper's cottage and latterly home of Mr and Mrs Gade) was converted into the main room of a much-enlarged Marisco Tavern.

For a short history of Lundy please click here.

To read the full history album for Lundy please click here.

Getting to Lundy

Getting to Lundy

Your Lundy adventure begins even before you set foot on the Island.

During the winter season, (beginning of November until the end of March), a Helicopter Service operates between Lundy and Hartland Point on Mondays and Fridays.  This exhilarating flight takes approximately seven minutes, providing spectacular aerial views of the Island and North Devon.

During the summer season, (end of March until the end of October), the Island’s own supply ship and ferry, the MS Oldenburg departs several times a week from either Bideford or Ilfracombe. 

Find out more

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.